The Northern Lights show likely cost $500 million in farmer profit

The Northern Lights that filled the skies and social media recently took the internet by storm. However, it is the same system that researchers now say has likely cost U.S. farmers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The system that produced the mesmerizing light show did quite a number on GPS systems, the same ones that farmers use to run their planters. Economist Terry Griffin with Kansas State University says it likely cost farmers half a billion dollars in profit because it happened during peak planting times.

While the outages only lasted four hours, they had a big impact because 70 percent of growers rely on GPS guidance.